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Today's News

  • City agrees to inquiry into utility finances

    The city’s auditor told the City Council on Wednesday that he has discovered “anomalies” in the utilities department’s finances. As such, he asked for authority to conduct a more thorough investigation.

    The council had no objections to the auditor’s request, and City Manager Timothy Dodge said he would approve the inquiry.

  • Faculty upset with HU officials

    Highlands University’s faculty union contends the school is taking care of administration but leaving professors behind.

    University President Jim Fries disagrees, saying the administration is trying hard to get the faculty to the bargaining table.

    It’s the first time in years that the faculty has openly rebelled against the administration. In early 2005, professors loudly criticized then-President Manny Aragon’s decision to deny tenure to a number of professors, despite faculty committees’ recommendations to give tenure.

  • WLV jumpers shine in elite meet

    Two West Las Vegas track and field standouts got a jump start on much of their competition Monday afternoon in Albuquerque.

    Chris Ellis-Phillips cleared 6 feet, 2 inches, in the high jump to place fourth in the annual Marilyn Sepulveda Invitational. Linda Esquibel went 34-2 in the triple jump to place sixth of nine entrants.

    The Marilyn Sepulveda Invite is limited to elite high school track and field competitors, who must achieve meet standards by April 4 and be invited to enter the meet. As a result, the competitive field is mightier than the average meet’s.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Officials plead not guilty in RHS assault case

    Three of the adults charged in connection with sexual assaults at a Robertson High School football camp pleaded not guilty Thursday.

    Superintendent Richard Romero, Athletic Director Mike Yara and former football coach Ray Woods entered their pleas in Magistrate Court. Each is charged with the misdemeanor of failure to report child abuse or neglect.

    Not appearing were former assistant coaches Adam Alvarez and Ikaika Neizman, who are facing the same charge.  Neizman is in Alaska, while Alvarez waived his arraignment, prosecutors said.

  • LETTER: Death penalty not a deterrent

    In his recent “sheriff’s corner” Optic article, Mora County sheriff Roy Cordova expressed concern for the safety of police officers now that capital punishment has been abolished in New Mexico. He’s so right to be concerned for officer’s safety; they have a dangerous job which goes terribly underappreciated in our society. I’m reassured by their presence, hard work and dedication to the safety and humanity of everyone in our community and I favor  measures which would decrease their hazards.

  • EDITORIAL: New energy

    Recently, the recreation center gave its customers questionnaires to gauge how well it is serving them. We applaud this effort.

    The center’s new director, Robin Abreu Martin, has been working hard to improve the services. She recently reported to the City Council about how she and her staff are addressing recommendations from a citizens advisory committee. Among other things, the center is getting a machine to scan members’ IDs and developing an hourly cleaning log.

  • LETTER: Petitioners still awaiting response

    Your readers may recall that in early March a letter accompanied by a petition signed by 180 people from the Las Vegas area was sent to Mr. Wayne Smith, chairman and CEO of Community Health Systems, the owners of Alta Vista Regional Hospital. The petitions asked that the corporation recognize the hospital workers’ legally chosen union and begin good-faith negotiations. It was pointed out that no responses had been received to the many personal letters sent to Mr.

  • Fries touts the positive at HU

    Highlands University President Jim Fries talked about some of the challenges the university will face because of budget shortfalls after recent action by the state Legislature.

    But he said there were also bright spots that people should also take note of.

  • Democrat takes case to state level

    Ambrose Castellano, who lost in his bid to become the chairman of the San Miguel County Democratic Party, is challenging the election’s procedures at the state level.

    Earlier this month, Martin Suazo, the chairman for the last eight years, won another two-year term at the county convention, getting 84 votes to Castellano’s 10.

    During the convention, Castellano and former Chairman Greg Salazar, whom Suazo beat eight years ago, both called into question the credentials of some delegates.

  • Las Vegas call center to close

    One of Las Vegas’ two call centers plans to close its doors at the end of the month, putting 48 people out of work.

    Vertex officials have announced that they plan to shut down the center, which is based at Highlands University, because of the loss of the center’s only client, Duke Energy.

    Vertex spokeswoman Diane Webb said the center will close April 30, but a team of managers will remain into May to move out.